Meloni, who played Detective Elliot Stabler for an impressive 12 years, recently told Vulture that the role took a bit of a toll on him.
“From Season 4 to 9, it was really crazy,” Meloni told Vulture of the attention "SVU" garnered. “Five years. It was miserable.”
Meloni also said there's no truth to the rumor that his exit was tied to the departure of "SVU's" longtime showrunner, Neal Baer. "I never dreamed that I would stick with something for so long. I enjoyed it so much. But it was time. I had been thinking about it for a while," he told Vulture.
Now, Meloni is settling into a new role on "True Blood": Roman, the 500-year-old founder and leader of the Vampire Authority. "I don't think you could go farther afield from 'SVU' than joining the world of Bon Temps and the whole 'True Blood' werewolves, werepanthers, faeries and vampires running around. That was what it was," Meloni told TVGuide.com of taking on the role earlier this month. "I really was just looking for something absolutely completely different than the world that 'SVU' had."
Tune into "True Blood" on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.